What I like: John Rowady, President & CEO, rEvolution
John Rowady, President & CEO, rEvolution
■ An insight: In the people business, culture wins. You can use all the technology you want to run your business, but relationships will always be king.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: Brands should share more information with each other about their sports marketing deals so that they can balance the pricing scale with properties and media rights holders. Sport is too expensive, as a marketing tool, without proper intelligence.
■ A timeless idea: Any competition that uses a bracket format is always exciting.
■ A business deal: Groupon not taking the Google offer. Of course, their Super Bowl spot may not help their impending IPO.
■ A sports facility: Wrigley Field, “The Big House,” Keeneland, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Laguna Seca.
■ A hire: Jim Harbaugh. He’s going to make more money than when he was a pro.
■ An innovation: The search engine. All human information can be found on your PDA in a matter of minutes. Incomprehensible, actually.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: Verizon’s sponsorship vision with the NFL. And ESPN’s pre-announcement of a new “Monday Night Football” deal.
■ A fantasy job: My job or being Sir Richard Branson for a few months.
What I Like About …
■ Sports: There are two things people can’t do without: their dentist and sports. Immeasurable impact on society.
■ Sports business: How the profession continues to advance in credibility. Once, we stood outside the boardroom door. Now, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the boardroom to impact business.
■ Sports media: The sports experience is so exceptional with multichannel information, HD, 3-D, LCD, DirecTV, that many times I’d rather sit home instead of going to the game — except for hockey.
■ Sports technology: 3-D. We need more production investment and better glasses. Do you hear me, Oakley?
■ The direction of sports business: Smarter, creative, technical: the best business-building platform on the planet.
What I’d Like To …
■ Change in what I do: Spend more time with my wife and kids.
■ See: The United States be more respected by the world for all we have done and continue to do for the Olympic movement.
■ See more of in sports: The World Cup and the growth of soccer in the United States.
■ See more of in sports business: Better negotiating via data intelligence so there’s more money retained by brands to activate rights.
■ See less of in sports: Labor disputes.
■ See less of in sports business: Shock media/TMZ athlete destruction.
What I Don’t Like …
■ In general: The amount of time spent to commute. Time travel would be nice. And real estate appraisers.
■ In sports: How the “play under review” continues to creep into the human element of every game — and still does not help my Lions.
■ In business: The costs associated with hiring people. The new Illinois tax increase. Not understanding the new health care law. Let’s find better solutions to help our fellow small businesses grow.
■ About sports fans: That they can be dismissive to new fans as their sport grows and more brands get involved (e.g., NASCAR). Isn’t growth and popularity the point?
What I Like …
■ Heroes: My mom, for the dedication to raise a bunch of boys; and my wife, for “kicking me into the water” to build a business from scratch.
■ Players: Steve Yzerman, Barry Sanders, “The Bird” Fidrych, Keith Smart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Pelé and Muhammad Ali.
■ Teams: Detroit Red Wings, Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan football, McLaren Mercedes F1, Arsenal.
■ Possession: My Emerson Fittipaldi Penske Indy car that sits in the office reception area.
■ Memento: An Omega Seamaster watch from my dad when he traveled to Switzerland when I was a kid.
■ Magazines: Rolling Stone, Esquire, Road & Track.
■ Gadgets: Control4 Home Automation.
■ Hobbies: Sailing, American bulldogs, cars, scuba, fishing, Polaris off-road, watches, barbecue.
■ Trips: Going to Alaska to fly-fish the Kenai Peninsula during the spring sockeye red salmon run. It’s America, everyone needs to go. And the salmon chowder at Gwin’s Lodge is a treat.
■ Concerts: The Grammys, live.
■ Artist: Chip Foose: he brings back raw emotion in car design; Sir Roy Strong: his mastery of landscape architecture.
■ Food: Alaskan halibut (from Homer Spit) with wasabi and soy; Detroit coney dog from National Coney Island; my ribs with hoisin sauce (turn for two hours).
■ Drink: Brunello di Montalcino, Maker’s Mark.
■ Cars: ’65 Shelby Cobra, Ferrari 599.
■ Quote: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” — Walt Disney.